The art of the huntPublished on May 3, 2016

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  • Collected artwork from Dean‚Äôs grandparents and Society6 displayed above an Eve sofa from EQ3 in Coachella Cognac leather
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Dean Large in his living room
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Sybil-Celery slinks along the coffee table in front of Ikea's Kivik sofa in the den
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Bedding in the master bedroom is a combination of Ikea, Kaufmann Mercantile and blankets from Macausland Woolen Mills in Prince Edward Island
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Dean's custom riding boots
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

Interior designer Dean Large has had a slight obsession with anything to do with homes for as long as he can remember. While other young boys were outside playing sports, he would often opt to stay in and help his grandmothers redesign their homes.

He credits his fine taste to both of these influential women. “I attribute my love of design and sense of style to my two grandmothers who both have wonderful style. I spent a lot of time as a child with them observing how everything was thought through with meticulous detail.” And, while most kids look forward to the candy distributed door to door at Halloween, Dean remembers the holiday as an opportunity to step inside homes to catch glimpses of décor inspirations.

As one of the principal designers at Astro Design Centre for the past seven years, he has helped clients refine their homes and works in any style that feels right for the space and for the client. Yet, his own home is most definitely eclectic in style.

Dean is a keen flea marketer who loves the hunt and the chance to cleverly mix styles and inject personality into his space. Portobello Road Market in London, England is a favourite spot to shop, as is the annual IODE (Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire) sale at St. Bartholomew’s in New Edinburgh.

The older space in an apartment in a dated Westboro building, which he shares with his fiancé, offers Dean the opportunity to show off his talents. Although, it may not be quite enough space for him because he keeps another home in the suburbs as well. His fiancé is from London and didn’t like the idea of living in the ‘burbs, so a pied-à-terre in the city was the solution, in addition to offering Dean a greater opportunity to house his wares.

There is an effortless approach to his style, which he describes as trying to make spaces look like they just evolved over time. “Nothing actually matches – but everything complements each other. I love deep moody colours and rich textures. I think the best way to make eclectic style look current is to mix it with iconic modern pieces. I have a terrible habit of just buying everything I like – with lots of impulse-bought art and chairs,” confesses Dean.

Clearly, the results speak for themselves and reveal that Dean Large is definitely a talented designer.

DEAN’S TIPS FOR FLEA MARKET SUCCESS

  • Be the first one there
  • Dress the part – if you look like you can afford to pay a lot, you will be charged more than someone who looks less well off.
  • Look for good bones – working drawers, original wood finish etc.
  • Be respectful –  treat the vendor well and they may lead you to greater finds
  • Look for individual pieces rather than complete sets

Mary Taggart

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